The argument about increasing National Insurance has set Labour's election campaign off on the wrong foot. Having a number of CEOs of companies, some of them household names, criticise the policy is not helpful to say the least, particularly given that Labour tried to present itself as 'the natural party of business'. Indeed, it had some initial success in doing so, but there has been growing resentment among business people in recent years about what they see as the growing burden of taxation and regulation.
Labour is trying to recover by saying that the Conservative figures don't add up. This is, however, quite a complicated argument for voters to follow. What is emerging is a more traditional and clearer choice between Labour as a 'tax and spend' party and the Conservatives as a party with a mission to reduce taxes.